The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2224   Message #8768
Posted By: Angus McSweeney
15-Jul-97 - 09:41 PM
Thread Name: What is a Folk Song?
Subject: RE: What is a Folk Song?
This is quite a thread. I just felt I had to add a word or two myself. My problem is simple: as I read each entry, I tend to agree with it. Then I read a rebuttle and tend to agree with IT! That, in essence, is why I believe we are never going to put this debate to rest. And that is also why you can't write "The Complete Book of Folk/Traditional Music". As the famous justice wrote about obscenity (paraphrasing here) "I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it". That seems to be the recurring theme in this thread, but we all seem to see it from slightly different angles. That means you won't find any answers in my contribution. Folk songs are by nature hard to define. I'm familiar with the Jazz categories Laoise, and being somewhat new to that genre I find them very helpful for finding my way around. A very narrowly focused folk music traditionalist trying to defend the integrity of this site might find this very thread a waste of good space meant, after all, for finding those old songs that can't be found elsewhere. But we're not that narrow, are we? A confession: I started the first Folk Fantasy Circle and wondered at the time if there might be howls of protest. But (in my experience) it became a great source of folk/traditional music that I often had not heard before. I've learned several songs from those threads, and more importantly, I started to see some personalities emerge from the various on-line names that frequently appear on postings. I believe that this site is really starting to resemble a community. This thread is a perfect example. And, just like a good folk circle, if someone occasionally serves up a song that doesn't quite fit the bill, we tend to smile inwardly and move on. And if someone (or several somone's in a row) tend to stray WAY off the path, then we try some redirection. It seems to me that this approach has worked pretty well at this site. For the purists who are much more educated than myself as to the TRUE definitions, and want to have a site that is TRULY exclusive, I'm afraid that the the nature of the internet prevents us from such purity. Unless we want to establish a password to get in. And I fervently hope that no one wants to do that. In conclusion, for anyone who stuck with me through all of this, I believe the entire discussion is very good, but I propose we don't do much of anything different than we we are doing now. (And my apologies for the use of capital letters...I am not shouting, I am just emphacising).